By Michael Coughlin Jr.
Earlier this month, a groundbreaking event was held to celebrate the beginning of construction for a project at 10 Stonley Road that will supply Jamaica Plain residents with a plethora of affordable homeownership opportunities.
The developers for this project — Causeway Development LLC and the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) — are set to offer a total of 45 income-restricted homeownership units, according to a release from the Mayor’s Office of Housing (MOH).
Regarding the unit makeup, the release indicates that there will be 10 studios, 23 one-bedrooms, nine two-bedrooms, and three three-bedrooms.
Moreover, in terms of affordability, Dave Traggorth, a Principal of Causeway Development LLC, told the Gazette that there are plans for 16 units at 80% of area median income (AMI) and 29 units at 100% of AMI.
Traggorth spoke about just how vital the affordability aspect of the project is and how it really spawned from community input.
He explained that the project was initially permitted as a mostly market-rate project; however, he said, “While we are a for-profit developer, we also have a lot of mission in everything that we do in terms of building what the community wants in their neighborhood,” said Traggorth.
“The more and more that we talked to not only JPNDC but a lot of other community members, we heard just an overwhelming need for affordable homeownership, and really, that’s what moved the needle here in terms of deciding what to do with this particular parcel,” he added.
Moreover, Traggorth talked about hearing stories of City of Boston and Jamaica Plain residents struggling to remain in the place where they grew up and was thrilled to be able to offer affordable homeownership opportunities with help from the MOH, the state’s Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities and MassHousing.
Lina Jimenez, a Senior Project Manager with the JPNDC, also spoke about the affordability aspect of the project and the need for more affordable housing.
Jimenez talked about how soaring prices have been pricing people out of Boston and said, “We think that we need more opportunities for people to really keep living in Boston.”
Another aspect of the project to note is that of the 45 total units, five will be artist live-work units.
Both Jimenez and Traggorth explained that the five artist live-work units were adopted from the previous seller of the project and remained due to community feedback.
“We understand that artists also need a place to live, and we want to be as inclusive as possible,” said Jimenez,” later adding that the community “strongly asked” for the units.
In describing the units, Traggorth explained that they are all on the ground floor, have direct access to the street and sidewalk for potential clients to visit directly, and have other features that make the units more user-friendly. There is even a common art space off the lobby for showing art.
“We worked closely with the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture to design these spaces, and we’re really excited to be able to realize the vision of the community and give folks a chance to work and live in the community right here,” said Traggorth.
Other aspects of the project to note include 60 bike spaces and 19 enclosed parking spaces. Further, an element Traggorth described as “cool” was the building will be constructed to passive house standards.
“It’ll be 95% more energy efficient than a code-compliant building; it’ll be all-electric. So from the perspective of homeowners and their utility bills, that will be drastically, drastically reduced, which we’re excited about,” said Traggorth.
Further, the building will be set back from the sidewalk so a green space can be incorporated between the sidewalk and the building, and as part of the project, sidewalks and street lighting will be installed.
The planned opening for the development is in late Fall of 2024, and in the Spring of 2024, the units will begin to be marketed for sale, according to Traggorth.
Traggorth shared his excitement about the project and mentioned how grateful he was for the state and city coming forward with resources to make this affordable project happen.
“We’re just really excited; we’re really grateful that we have the opportunity to meet the needs. As I mentioned before, for many years, there was not any resources allocated to affordable homeownership, but that’s changed in a big way recently, and we’re really, really excited to be at this point,” said Traggorth.
Jimenez also shared her excitement for the groundbreaking and that the project is now becoming a reality. She also said, “For me, the exciting part is finishing construction and being able to give the keys to the future residents of the units.”